Origins: In the tragic aftermath of any prominent disaster, tales of serendipity begin to spread: anecdotes relating how providence, luck, or quirks of fate — spontaneous departures from normal routines, unusually late starts, unavoidable delays, inexplicable feelings of anxiety — led survivors to make last-minute alterations in their schedules, alterations that prevented them from being where they otherwise would have been, at ground zero of the disaster.
Many of these types of tales are quite true, of course. But many, many more are embellished, exaggerated, or completely fabricated. Nearly 1,500 people perished when the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage in 1912, but afterwards several thousand more claimed they would have been on board had some unexpected events not induced them to change their plans. Sharon Tate planned for a quiet evening at her Beverly Hills home on the night in August 1969 when the Manson family struck, murdering her and four others, yet in the ensuing years dozens of celebrities would claim they had been asked over by Tate that day but had declined the invitations.
No doubt many New Yorkers (and others) have true tales of fortuitous circumstances that kept them away from the World Trade Center towers on the morning of
According to the Chinese press, Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan was slated to begin production on his film Nosebleed on
The Straits Times reported Chan as saying:
Instead, he made a last-minute decision to move to Toronto after getting the script for another new movie, Tuxedo.
"Well, I guess my time is not up yet," the actor said, adding that he cried uncontrollably in his hotel room after watching the horrific attacks on television.
In an eerie coincidence, however, the screenplay for Nosebleed had Chan's character battling terrorists bent on blowing up the Statue of Liberty (or, according to some news reports, the World Trade Center itself).
My Column (Jackie Chan)
Last updated: 8 March 2008
Ednalino, Percy. "Entertainment Industry Changes Plans for Upcoming Movies, TV, Music." The Denver Post. 17 September 2001 (p. F1). The Hollywood Reporter. "Hewitt Tries on Chan 'Tuxedo' at DreamWorks." 3 July 2001. The Kansas City Star. "Tragedy Changes Schedules, Outlook for TV and Films." 13 September 2001 (p. E1). The [Singapore] Straits Times. "Lucky Jackie." 19 September 2001 (p. 9).